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Donations sought to give night a bang



Published: Mon, June 27, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



The event is held to raise money for Fourth of July fireworks.

By SEAN BARRON

VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER

AUSTINTOWN -- Each year, many people enjoy making the evening trek to Fitch High School to see the annual July Fourth fireworks.

Because watching the display is free, money has to be raised to help offset the cost of the fireworks. That's where the annual Austintown Community Day comes in.

People endured temperatures in the 90s, high humidity and lack of a breeze to attend Sunday's event at Austintown Middle School on Mahoning Avenue. The four-hour Community Day, sponsored by The Austintown Fourth of July Committee, was set up to raise money for the fireworks that will be used for the show at Fitch.

Cost of the fireworks is about $9,000 to $10,000, township trustee David Ditzler said.

Some of the proceeds came from various items that were donated and sold as part of a Chinese auction. Those who came were treated to free food, a petting zoo and pony rides while a disc jockey played oldies by Junior Walker and the All Stars and other groups.

Financial standings

Sam Swogger III, chairman of the 15-member July 4 committee, predicted that, despite Sunday's low turnout, enough money would be raised for the fireworks. So far, the group has collected around $900 from Saturday's Las Vegas Night event; $1,200 from a car show that took place at Greenwood Chevrolet, 4695 Mahoning Ave.; and $3,500 from advertisements and other sources, Swogger said.

Additional income came from the auction and a craft show, he said.

Ron Hefner, a committee member, announced that the group will be sponsoring a teen night in July to raise additional funds for the committee. The events will be from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. July 10, 17 and 24 at Club Fahrenheit, formerly known as The Mill, in Wedgewood Plaza.

"We need to get the community involved," Hefner said. He added that volunteers are needed for the committee and to organize other township activities and events.

The evenings will feature dancing for kids ages 13 to 18 as well as other activities. Admission is $10.

"It will give the teens something to do in a fun, safe environment," Hefner said.




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